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EU survives another close one
Lancers a win away from first 3-0 start since 1993
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STOCKTON — East Union did just enough Friday to escape Podesto Field with a 16-13 non-league victory over Bear Creek.

In the process, the Lancers improved their mark to 2-0 for the first time in three years and is in position to with their first three for the first time since 1993.

East Union scored all of its points in the second quarter, capitalized on a few Bruin miscues coupled with some big plays.

The first came on a poor punt that eventually resulted in a 37-yard field goal by Lancer kicker Alex Dias.

On East Union’s next possession, quarterback Teejay Gordon connected with receiver Robert Dominguez on a 37-yard pass play. On the next play, Gordon rolled into the end zone on a 4-yard run.

The Lancers missed the extra point kick but led 9-0.

East Union again came up big on special teams, as Ryan Ward, who had a first-quarter interception, blocked a punt. Joshua Kolkmann recovered the loose ball at the Bear Creek 10. From there, Gordon found Dylan Meneses on a 10-yard scoring strike.

“Teejay did a good job reading the defense and running with the ball,” Lancer coach Mike James said.

The Bruins threatened shortly before halftime thanks to several big plays: Jack Phouminavong’s 39-yard kickoff return, Joyce Long’s 18-yard gain on a draw play, and Olahjuan Rayford’s 17-yard toss to Phouminavong.
The latter play fell 3 yards shy of the end zone as time expired.
As it turned out, Bear Creek (0-2) rode that momentum into the second half.

“Our goal was to play four quarters of football with the same intensity,” said Bruin coach Barbaro Perez.

Meanwhile, East Union couldn’t muster much on offense.

“We took some chances, including the fake punt,” Lancer coach Mike James said.

Bruin quarterback Olahjuan Rayford gave the East Union defense fits, turning several broken plays into long runs.

Phouminavong, who was also stellar on defense — “Jack, at 120 pounds, is hardest hitter around, pound for pound,” Perez added — wasn’t discouraged when his touchdown run from a yard out was erased due to an illegal-formation penalty. He still managed a score, punching the ball in from the EU 6.

“Our run defense wasn’t strong tonight,” James said.

Bear Creek was back in business when Travis Turner hauled in a deflected pass for an interception.

Rayford reeled in several long runs — most on broken plays — to set up JT Goodwin’s 3-yard touchdown run at the 6:32 mark of the fourth quarter.

Chris Contreras drew the Bruins closer with his PAT kick.

On the ensuing kickoff, East Union was helped out by a strong return to midfield by Ryanh Somphithack.

The Lancers were uable to further advance the ball, giving Bear Creek another chance as time was winding down.

But he broken plays went in favor of East Union.

The Lancers were able to hold on for another close win. Last week, East Union edged out Beyer in Modesto, 29-28.

The Lancers will have one more tune-up before the start of Valley Oak League with Ceres visiting Dino Cunial Field next week.